Conor McGregor offers £500,000 to help stage Taylor-Serrano fight at Croke Park
Conor McGregor has offered to provide £500,000 to pay for the “extra security bill” to allow Katie Taylor’s world title rematch with Amanda Serrano to be staged at Dublin’s Croke Park
Champion Taylor is scheduled to face Serrano in the city’s 3Arena on 20 May.
Negotiations with the Gaelic Athletic Association fell through.
“The extra security bill is 500k to have Katie Taylor fight at Croke Park? I will sponsor the event to see this happen,” said McGregor on Twitter.
In response, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn posted: “Let’s talk.”
The GAA had said Matchroom’s refusal to pay “security costs” was the stumbling block which prevented it from permitting its Croke Park stadium to host the fight.
Taylor and Serrano made history as the first female contest to top the card at Madison Square Garden in May 2022.
The Irish fighter won on points, and it had been hoped Croke Park would stage her homecoming fight.
Croke Park’s commercial director Peter McKenna said on Thursday that renting the stadium would not cost much more than renting Wembley.
He added the “real issue here is about security costs”.
“We would love to have the fight here,” said McKenna at the release of the GAA’s annual report and financial results.
“The last time we talked to them properly was before Christmas. Our rent was coming in around 400,000 euros (£355,000). I think the rent for Wembley is about £250,000 to £300,000.
“I think the surprise was that our focus on security and attention to detail was far more than they would have expected in a Wembley scenario or Bethnal Green scenario.
“You’re talking about bringing 60,000 to 70,000 people into a stadium for a fight that’s late in the evening with quite a bit of alcohol taken.”
The lightweight title fight is dependent on Serrano beating Erika Cruz at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
Puerto Rico’s Serrano is favourite to defeat the Mexican in New York, a bout Taylor is set to be ringside for, and set up a rematch after their classic initial contest in May.
Promoter Hearn said in recent days that it was “so frustrating” that undefeated Taylor, who has never fought as a professional in Ireland, could not stage her homecoming bout at Croke Park.
The Aviva Stadium was also considered but the final of rugby’s Heineken Champions Cup will take place at the stadium on the same day as Taylor’s bout.
“The cost of hire, the cost of everything involved with the event is three times nearly more than staging it at Wembley Stadium. It’s unbelievable,” Hearn said, speaking to the The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.
“It’s a business. Ultimately, Katie Taylor has her financial demands for this fight. So does Amanda Serrano and we want to make sure we deliver on that.
“But we’re so far out on the possibility with the cost of running that show and we’re out of time in terms of delivering that date to the broadcaster so we’ve got to move.
“I promised Katie Taylor would be in Ireland for her next fight. It will be the most sensational atmosphere wherever we are but we’ll see what happens then.”